I Feel Good – Just Like Any Bloke Who Got One Up on Clip Clop Would – I Feel Fine – Cos the One Nil Margin is Mine – It’s So Good – So Good – I Got You-u-u-u!


So I go to have brekky with Clip Clop this morning, and I’d dreaming about smoked salmon and flash sauce and eggs to die for and all types of exotic tropical fruits as I ascend the 24 floors from Post Office Square to his office in Heaven, passing the Branch Stacker and Bubbles Washington style bent lobbyist firm on the lowly 15th floor and flicking them he bird along the way, then the bell dings and the door opens and disappointment begins.

I bowl into Clip Clop land, decide I still reek of sex from the roll in the hay with Maggie and her sister a couple of hours before, bowl back out for a quick hand soap to the stubble and Mr Strong in the flash as dunny, bowl back in again and Clip Clop walks out and says ‘Ah, the Butterfly’ and I say ‘Oh, Clip Clop’ in reply, and then its all handshakes and smiles and we’re talking horses while circling each other’s wagons and CC’s superb PA and part Siamese-twin Sue who’s a cracker of a bird offers me coffee, but I don’t drink the sh*t so I tell her a cold drink would be nice.

Of course I’m thinking Coke (the real Coke kind, not the sugar free nonsense) or freshly squeezed OJ or maybe even a bit of the Rooster’s left over Moet if I’m lucky, but then reality kicks in as I realise that the Rooster has never, ever left a single drop of champers in a bottle of Moet to bubbles for brekky’s just a pipe dream unless Clip Clop offers to crack a fresh bottle.

He gives me water.

Without ice.

There are no options on this particular menu.

They’d all cost money except the aqua, and you don’t hit, stay and climb on Queensland’s rich list by giving your capital away do you? Which means I don’t get any brekky either, and have to shell for a roast beef sanger at PJ’s Inn afterwards just to make sure that I don’t collapse and die.

I liked Clip Clop Kev though, just like I knew I would, although of course I wouldn’t trust the crafty old mustachioed million times a millionaire as far as I could throw him, which is not very far, and he wouldn’t trust me any further.

Which is apropos of nothing at all really cos neither of us trust any bastard except me Maggie and the girls and him Sue and Kay and all that does is show we’re both smart and it detracts in no way from the conversation other than that my stomach’s still empty, but more fool me and when if you hurl the dice and don’t throw sevens well you’ve just gotta wear it don’t you?

I did get something for free though, a copy of Racing Queensland’s beautiful 48 page thick, almost cardboard quality glossy monthly harness racing magazine Pace, which must cost a motza to produce but is read by pretty much no-one, which seems like weird science to me.

Don’t go thinking that my dazzling personality somehow inspired a flash of benevolence in the old bloke who seems younger than me – although nowhere near as good looking – though, cos the tight bugger forgot to take the with compliments slip out* of the free copy he’d just slipped me and so gave himself up.

I’m gunna get the mag dusted by an old copper mate from forensics just to make a good thing of my suspicion that Clip Clop read the bloody thing on the dunny and gave it a quick wipe with single ply but I reckon it’s a foregone conclusion, and anyway it doesn’t bother me cos I’m from Geebung and the Friday form guide stayed in the office all weekend and passed through who knows how many hands but the winners were still the winners and the fact that the Old Man paid for the paper and the rest of us got it for free simply made the overs a bird.


I had to bloody laugh though, because there on the front cover was my old mate Brad Connelly the Tambourine Mountain man and the caption said that the story was about Brad and another old mate Big Jeroen, the one time 7 foot centre for the mighty Monday night open air mens social grade basketball legends the 5 Stars, a team that I owned, managed, captained and lost the affiliation fees on the punt for on annual basis.

Clearly Clip Clop had pulled a few strings and got my mates on the front page as a peace gift, or maybe just to show me that he could, but either way the former turnstile operator at Albion Park – I reckon Clip Clop under-cooked that one, he probably owned the gate rights – had sacrificed 48 pages he got for free that he could have had Kay boil down and recycle as Christmas Cards and instead had given the mag to me.

Truth be told I was touched, and still am, and say out loud for all the world to hear “Thanks Clip Clop, but I’m still bloody hungry”.

The harness racing industry had been touched even more though. All that super-flash pretty production dough yet still no-one actually proof read the goddamn magazine.

There was a mistake on page 4, the first content page in after the double page color spread piccies of the horses at Kev’s mates the Denning’s Burwood Park stud, a great glossy spare no expense splash that included a glamour shot of Changeover, a true champion or not about whose greatness the jury will be forever out because its trainer during the golden years, Geoff Small, was a blue magic man and when you’re hitting your horses hard with the untraceable the true depth of their ability will never be truly known.

No great pictures of perhaps great pacers can make up for a mistake on the first page of the form guide though can it sportsfans? After all, how can you trust a word of what you read after if the publishers can’t even get the front page right?


That ain’t Jeroen Nieuwenberg on the front page of the Pace magazine. He’s younger, and more dynamic, and about a foot taller just like he was in the snap taken back in the day when Queensland bred horses were taking the harness world by storm, and the big fella was backing wonder horses like Sovereign Cloud in from 100’s to 16’s and landing the bikkies in the big league, and young Bradley Connolly was still young and had flowingh locks of hair.


That’s big Jeroen in the centre of the shot at the top, and a young Bradley in the spots.

There’s no Jeroen on the cover of Pace magazine though, no matter what Racing Queensland might try to tell you, only a double dose of Bradley C.

In normal circumstances I’d go town on the glaring mistake in the only material thing of worth that I took away* from Clip Clop HQ except the water glass that I slipped in my bag by sleight of hand and the CV that I handed back with a valuation book but didn’t and am looking at right now (wake up to yourself Kev: I only did it for sport and got away with it cold; imagine what those bludger employees or contractors who really want to rob you are taking home each week).

But the simple fact is that Jeroen’s 7 foot frame would have filled the front and back covers of Pace and cost us all a bloody arm and a leg in printing ink, whereas Bradley’s aging mug and once were lean warriors frame fits just nicely thank you very much.

It’s not the saved money that thrills me though sportsfans, and for once not just because  spondoolies aren’t really my thing and I treat even the largest of them as nothing more than cabbage. Nah that ain’t the cause of my thrill on CBD hole in the ground hill Bill and Jill and Gil and Gill.

I’m excited because I’ve got one up on Clip Clop.

It was a joust for the ages, and the judges had scored it a draw. But then he gave me the 48 page mag that he’d fixed to ensure my mate was beaming out of the cover from, and Mr Perfect was so cock a hoop with his admitted and impressive cleverness that for once in his life he forgot to check the finer details before laying down the slab.

Archie 1 – Clip Clop none.

I reckon I might retire now, quit while I’m in front.

You bloody beauty!

It doesn’t get any better than this.

Or not much anyway.


Archie’s Exclusive Investigation Forces the Royal Commission to Act – And Thanks to the Butterfly Finally the Truth About Serial Pedophile Kevin Lynch’s Pre-Queensland Child Sex Crimes is Revealed – Or Some Part of the Truth Anyway


19 October 2017
Supplementary Report of Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School released     

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a Supplementary Report to Case Study 34 after an anonymous tip helped reveal that former teacher Kevin Lynch was convicted of sexual offences in NSW before he began teaching in two schools in Queensland.

The report of Case Study No 34: The response of Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School to allegations of child sexual abuse was tabled in the Australian Parliament and published on 15 February 2017.

During a public hearing in November 2015, the Royal Commission heard that Kevin Lynch sexually abused a number of students when he was a teacher at Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School in Queensland. The Commissioners found complaints against him were not investigated by the schools.

On 22 January, 1997 Kevin Lynch was charged with child sex offences while he was still employed as a school counsellor at St Paul’s. He committed suicide the next day.

The anonymous tip received in May 2017 allowed the Royal Commission to uncover that Kevin Lynch had been convicted of two counts of indecent assault against a male person in 1957 and was subsequently summarily dismissed from a position with the NSW Department of Education in March 1958.

An accompanying note to the police record states that Kevin Lynch refrain from taking part in an organisation where he will come in contact with children and the Royal Commission is satisfied the offences probably involved a child or children.

The Royal Commission concludes that despite the discovery of this new evidence, it would have been unlikely that any further reasonable inquiry on the part of Brisbane Grammar or St Paul’s would have revealed his conviction or dismissal from the NSW Department of Education.

The report states that at the time of his employment at Brisbane Grammar in 1973 and St Paul’s in 1989, there was no Working With Children Check scheme in place in Queensland and there was also no requirement that a criminal history check be undertaken. Even if a police check had been undertaken in Queensland, it would not have revealed the NSW offences.

“The evidence revealed in this supplementary report adds further weight to the Royal Commission’s recommendations for a nationally consistent scheme contained in our Working With Children Checks report, published on 17 August 2015,” the report states.

Read the supplementary report.

But Hey – Archie Ain’t Anonymous – That’s a Computer Hacking Outfit – And the Tip Wasn’t Received On the 1st of May – It Was the Day After – I Always Thought Royal Commissions Were Supposed to Be About Truth – So Why Are They Lying – Why Do You Reckon? – Mud In Your Eyes Commissioners – And Egg on Your Faces Too


Good Afternoon

As the Royal Commission is aware I was a victim of child sexual abuse at St Paul’s School, one of the institutions that was the subject of Case Study 34 conducted by the Commission.

I am also a freelance journalist who has written extensively about the Royal Commission. The collection of my articles is published on the website www.itsnotnormalisit.com. Many have been used as the basis for pieces written by others and published or broadcast in the mainstream press.

During recent research I have uncovered clear and documented evidence that on 14 March 1958 the main actor in Case Study 34, the pedophile Kevin John Lynch, was dismissed from his then role as a teacher with the NSW Education Department after being convicted of an ‘infamous’ criminal offence in the NSW courts. It is believed that this ‘infamous’ offence involved indecent dealing with a student in his care.

In 1960 Lynch returned to teaching at Christian Brothers College in Wollongong after that religious order had acquired control of the school the year before. There is no evidence that his teacher registration was reinstated at any time in NSW.

Lynch was then transferred to the Christian Brothers owned and operated St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace, where he worked as a teacher from 1968-1972. There is no evidence of him being registered as a teacher there either.

Of course in 1973 he gained employment at Brisbane Grammar, and thus his trail of known Queensland offences began and spiraled for the next decade.

I intend to write and publish further articles regarding these and other matters related to Case Study 34, and seek your response to the following question, which are posed with the intention of publishing the Royal Commission’s responses:

  1. Why was the examination of the institutional responses to child sexual abuse examined in Case Study 34 confined an examination of the period of Kevin Lynch’s employment from 1973-1997 at the St Paul’s School and Brisbane Grammar, and why did it not also examine Lynch’s employment at Christian Brother’s College Wollongong and St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace?

2. Did the Royal Commission seek at any time to obtain records of Lynch’s employment with the NSW Education Department?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and

(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

If no, why not?

  1. Did the Royal Commission request the NSW police, the AFP or any other government organisation to conduct a search of State and Commonwealth police records for Kevin John Lynch, or did the Royal Commission conduct such a search by any other means?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and

(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

If no, why not?

  1. Did the Royal Commission obtain or seek to obtain records of Kevin Lynch’s registration as a teacher in NSW from the relevant authority, department or organisation in that State?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and

(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

If no, why not?

  1. Did the Royal Commission obtain or seek to obtain records of Kevin Lynch’s registration as a teacher in QLD from the relevant authority, department or organisation in that State?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and

(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

  1. Did the Royal Commission seek information from Edmund Rice College (formerly Christian Brothers College) in Wollongong NSW about Kevin Lynch’s employment, and did the Commission obtain his employment records from that institution?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and

(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

If no, why not?

  1. Did the Royal Commission seek information from St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace in QLD about Kevin Lynch’s employment, and did the Commission obtain his employment records from that institution?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and

(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

If no, why not?

  1. A man named Matthew Joseph Foley, a former student of Lynch’s at St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace, gave one of the eulogies at the pedophile’s funeral.

Given that Mr Foley was the Attorney-General of Queensland from 1992 – 1996 and 1998 – 2001, and by virtue of his position responsible for the administration of the law and the appointment of judicial officers in the State of Queensland, on what basis did the Royal Commission make the decision not to summon Mr Foley to give evidence during Case Study 34?

9. During Case Study 34 recordings of a series of covert police recordings made of a conversation between Lynch and an identity protected Royal Commission witness were played in a public hearing and the transcripts of the recordings were tendered into evidence.

These recordings formed a crucial part of the evidence that led to Lynch’s arrest in January 1997.

In the recordings Lynch is heard clearly telling the Royal Commission witness that he has a close friend in the Queensland Police force who is an Assistant Commissioner of Police in that State, and that this person has perverted the course of justice to protect his (Lynch’s) interests. Lynch is also heard telling the witness that he can arrange for the course of justice to be perverted as required through his friend the Assistant Commissioner of Queensland Police. All of Lynch’s words are contained in the transcripts tendered into evidence.

Has the Royal Commission referred the serious allegations of police corruption made by Lynch to any person or body for investigation, including but not limited to the Qld Crime and Corruption Commission or the Queensland Police Service?

If yes:

(a) On what date?; and
(b) Why were the records obtained not tendered as evidence during Case Study 34?

If no, why not?

10. In the circumstances of the revelations that the employment of Kevin Lynch as a teacher was summarily terminated by the Premier of NSW due to Lynch being convicted of an ‘infamous’ crime, does the Royal Commission agree that its findings in Case Study 34 are now seriously compromised and/or highly likely to be inherently flawed?

If no, why not?

11. Does the Royal Commission intend to set aside the findings in Case Study 34 and reopen hearings of the Case Study so that a full examination of these serious and highly relevant matters can be conducted?

If no, why not?

I look forward to your prompt response to my questions about these most serious matters.


Archibald Jeebung Butterfly

International Federation of Journalists (IJF) Accreditation Number AU3821
Australian Journalists Association (MEAA) Accreditation Number 4004618


Yet Another Red Hot Race at Albion Park With a Jackpot, a Guaranteed Pool and the Usual Suspects in the Gig – I’ll Tell You All About it After Brekky


I’ve written extensively in recent weeks about races being run at Albion Park with huge guaranteed trifecta pools and voiced my strong suspicions – nay, asserted my certainty – that these races are being rigged by drivers and trainers who are colluding to ensure that together they land the lion’s share of the disproportionately large multiple bet pools.

Are they spending $30 odd grand covering every finishing combination excluding the horses they have agreed to knock out so that they can simultaneously make the total $50 000 pools that the Albion Park club are guaranteeing look legitimate, and at the same snare most of the $10 000 jackpots that UBET are so kindly placing in the pot to bump up 20% of the assured $50 000?

Or are punters actually breaking all the known rules of history and wagering science and betting 10 times the amount of the win pool into these bumper multiple pools, and thus allowing the race fixers the luxury of snaffling up the larger share of $50 grand by ensuring that certain horses win, lose or finish in predetermined place positions?

Only the UBET betting records will tell, but I suspect that it’s the former.

I’ve been around tracks and following punting trends for the better part of 40 years, and worked for professional punters placing wagers and analysing betting pools for a number of them, and in all that time I’ve never seen anything like what we are constantly witnessing at Albion Park where the guaranteed pools are ending up at least ten times larger than any other, and more in total than all the other bet type pools put together.

The Rooster – Albion Park Chairman David Fowler – reckons that the pools are fair dinkum, and that the guarantee entices punters to target the late afternoon/early evening mundane harness racing affairs and splurge their always limited punting banks on trying to land the trifecta and first fours at the Creek in preference to betting on Group 1 racing at Randwick or Caulfield.

With all due respect to the Rooster, who I like immensely but wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw, that’s total and utter bullsh*t.

These pools on the first race at Albion Park aren’t fair dinkum, not in a thousand years.

Soon I’ll tell you how and why.

First though I’m off to have brekky with Clip Clop.

I reckon we’ll get along just fine.

The Fix is In – The Trots Pools Are Being Rorted and the Races Are Being Fixed – Grammar Boys Aren’t as Smart as They Are Taught to Believe They Are – And The Rooster Doesn’t Crow – He Barks


Albion Park trots.

8th of July 2017.

It’s the night of the Sunshine Sprint, a time honored Winter Carnival feature race that has attracted the best horses from Australia and New Zealand to compete for the $50 000 prize and the treasured honor of winning a Group 2 race.

The eyes of the harness racing world are on this race, for Australia’s best horses Lenny the Shark – the 2015 Inter Dominion winner – multiple group winner Hector Jay Jay and last start winner of the Group 1 Len Smith mile My Field Marshall are all in the field, along with the young rising star Mach Doro and the recently named Queensland Horse of the Year Leo’s Best.

It’s a hot field, and UBET throws a $2 000 jackpot into the trifecta pool for the race to attract punters interest.

The final win pool is $7 217, the trifecta pool is $15 968.


The $75 000 Queensland Oaks, a Group 2 race for the best three year old fillies in Australia and New Zealand, is the next race after the Sunshine Sprint.

UBET throw a $2 000 jackpot into the trifecta pool for this race too.

The final win pool is $6 8486, the trifecta pool is $13 008.


As you can see the trifecta pools in both Group 1 feature events are roughly twice the size of the win pools on the races.

Race 1 on the same night is a nondescript Band 5 pace featuring run of the mill pacers and carrying a total prize pool of a paltry $11 540, less than a quarter that of the Sunshine Sprint and a sixth of that offered to the placegetters in the Oaks.

It is scheduled to run at 5.05 pm, half an hour after the last race at Doomben and at a time when the vast majority of punters have packed up their bags for the day and are heading home for a feed.

For totally inexplicable reasons UBET throws a $25 000 jackpot into the trifecta pool, and guarantees that the total pool will be a minimum of $100 000.

A hundred grand for a crap race at Albion Park run in an extremely unfavourable gambling time slot?



By some strange coincidence the last race at Doomben has also carried a $100 000 guaranteed trifecta pool, which provides us an excellent point of comparison between the two races, and allows me to highlight in flashing lights the huge endemic rort that has been going on at the trots.

The last race at the Brisbane Gallops has been colloquially known for time immemorial as the ‘Get Out Stakes’. Punters who are behind on the day traditionally throw up the last of their Saturday punting banks on the race in a last gasp effort to ‘get out’, and finish square or in front on the day, or at the very least not that far behind.

It is for this reason that all the pools on the last race are usually the largest of the day, despite the fact that the fields are normally of poorer quality than those of the races run immediately before.

On this particular day the win pool on then last of the day at Doomben is the largest of the day at $105 885, and the total amount wagered into the guaranteed $100 000 trifecta pool on the race by punters desperate to get out is roughly the same at $105 283.


Fast forward 30 minutes and while the happy, sad and totally devastated punters are arriving home for dinner and a hard time from their partners about their empty pockets the field is scoring up behind the mobile for the first at Albion Park.

The total win pool on the race is just $7 557, but the guaranteed six figure trifecta pool on the race has ballooned up to $139 389,  making it almost twenty times the size of the win pool.


The amount wagered into a guaranteed $100 000 trifecta pool on race 1 at the Albion Park trots is 30% greater than the total sum wagered into a guaranteed $100 000 trifecta pool on the ‘Get Out Stakes’ at Doomben when the win pool at the trots is about a fifteenth of that bet on the last race at the gallops?


How on earth could this be?

Simple answer?

It can’t be.

And it isn’t.

As you’re about to find out.

To be continued …..

Two of the Great Slaughter Jobs in Harness Racing History

Popular Alm – Ballarat Cup 1982

Popular Alm was one of the greatest pacers Australia has ever seen, a winner of 49 of his 62 starts with 10 placings and at one time the world record holder for the famous mile journey after he ran the then incredible time of 1.53.2 one night at Mooney Valley in 1983 during a specially staged time trial (above).

A year before running this scintillating time Poppy – as he was known by the adoring fans – had been taking all before him in the high quality Victorian Country Cup series, and was chasing a $50 000 bonus in the Ballarat Cup after wins in the Shepparton and Bendigo editions during the previous month.

Poppy’s regular race driver was unavailable to steer the champion around in the Ballarat Cup so his father, the horse’s trainer Bob Knight, stepped up and took the drive. I’m sure it was a decision that everyone connected with the horse later regretted.

Maori’s Idol – 1978 Inter Dominion

Maori’s Idol is without any doubt the greatest trotter (square-gaiter) ever to set foot on an Australian track.

This absolute champion stallion – who in 1977 became the first trotter in the Southern Hemisphere to break 2 minutes for mile run under race conditions – won 31 of his 34 starts against fellow square-gaiters, and 9 of the 12 he ran against the pacers, including victories at the old right-handed Albion Park track in the heats of the Sir Clive Uhr Championship defeating such legends of the sport as Paleface Adions, Koala King, Roma Hanover, Sporting Son, Rip Van Winkle, Right Action and Master Findlay, all themselves top-flight performers and winners of multiple Group 1 races.

The great champion would almost certainly have added the 1978 Inter Dominion Championship – the Melbourne Cup of trotting – to his resume as well, were it not for perhaps the worst drive in standardbred history by his regular reinsman Brian Healey, who completely misjudged the pace of the race and sat back toward the rear of the field for far too long before taking off after the leaders, costing his great horse the race.

Maori’s Idol started 11-4 on that night, and the punters almost tore down the stand after the race. Watching this replay you can certainly see why.

EXCLUSIVE – How the Farm Got F*cked – And How the Racing Industry and All the Punt-Loving Sportsfans Did Too – Part 1 – Like Sands Through the Crooked Hour Glass – So Are the Daze of Our Lies

Much has been written and said about the abject failure of the Eagle Farm course proper during and after what I call the $10 million redevelopment disaster, but as far as I am aware no media outlet has explained in depth to the punters what actually happened (and didn’t happen) to cause the myriad of problems that led to the abandonment of the scheduled Winter Carnival feature races at Eagle Farm and the indefinite closure of the track.

This is how the whole debacle unfolded.

The construction budget was slashed

During 2013 the design for the re-construction of the Eagle Farm track was agreed between Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC), and a quantity surveying company aptly named Rider Levitt Bailey (RLB) was engaged by RQ to provide detailed cost estimates for the project.

RLB came back with an costs estimate of $12.7 million.

A couple of months later RQ decided in its eternal wisdom that the projected figure was too high, and cut the budget back by just over 25% to $10 million.

In order to find cost savings RQ and the BRC decided variously, and among other things, to:

  • Do away with plans for an ambulance track (safety first I guess, not)
  • Reduce the proposed width of the track from 40m to 28m
  • Not purchase specialised machinery required to maintain sand-based turf tracks (what a stroke of genius)
  • Not connect the electricity supply mto irrigation pumps (water? who needs water? we never have droughts in Queensland
  • Reduce the successful tenderer’s contract for required maintenance on the new track from 12 months to 3 months (effectively allowing them to hit and run, dumping any problems on the BRC track staff who were sidelined during the construction process)
  • Plant the turf using seeds rather than rolls of turf (more on this later)

If you are thinking ‘bloody morons’ then we are both on the same wavelength.

Who exactly were the morons?

Wouldn’t we both like to know.

The contract was issued to the wrong company

The final bidding for the contstuction of the new course proper came down to shortlisted companies, Strathayr and Evergreen.

Strathayr had built both of the excellent Hong Kong tracks, Happy Valley and Sha Tin; the equally superb Kranji track in Singapore that Nifty Nev so loves to travel to at least annually to present trophies on behalf of the BRC at the meetings that his own horses coincidentally are running at; and Mooney Valley, home of course to Australia’s best race the Cox Plate and host in a couple of weeks to Winx’s historic third consecutive win in the race.

Evergreen’s list of achievements includes the Pakenham Racecourse in provincial Victoria, the failed Cluden Park track in Townsville that recently had to be ripped up and relaid, and a horse crossing at Ballarat.

Racing Queensland chose Evergreen.


Who knows? The question has never been properly answered.

It needs to be.

The gravel was wrong

Gravel s laid as the sub-base, or bottom layer, of a track.

To ensure a stable and solid base for the Eagle Farm race track the gravel used should have been 4 – 7 mm aggregate, but instead the gravel laid was only 2 – 7 mm aggregate, with an average fraction at 4 mm, meaning from the very beginning the foundations of the new Farm were at the absolute lower end of the barely acceptable scale.

In other words, and pardon the pun, our hopes of a great racing surface were crushed from the very start.

The sand was wrong.

The under-surface of the track should have been laid with a mix of interlocking angular sand or sandy loam, so that it wouldn’t shift around under the weight of the hooves of a full field of twenty 600 kg thoroughbreds. Instead the base was laid exclusively with rounded sands of the type that have been washed and smoothed for centuries by the sea or flowing water.

Rounded sands such as you would find at the bottom of a river leading into a sea or channel near Nifty Nev Bell the BRC Chairman’s property at Caboolture, near Ningi, when those waterways were dredged as part of the controversial North Harbor development, which apropos of nothing (or maybe not) was headed by a bloke who used to own an even more controversial boys brothel frequented by some well known people in Brisbane in the 1980’s who are these days even better known and hold some of the highest positions of power in the State (more on this later).

Rounded sands are no good because they are unable to interlock, and are therefore highly unstable and become what they call in the Bible shifting sands of the type that Jesus warns you not to build you house on, and would have cautioned against constructing a race track atop as well if he had ever imagined that anyone would be so stupid as to try.

To make this easy to understand imagine that you have taken the kids or grandkids to Scallywags or one of those similar indoor children’s playgrounds usually located in a huge industrial shed, and that the kids are playing in one of the sunken playpens filled with hundreds of colored plastic balls. See how the kids and slipping and sliding and falling into the sea balls as they cackle with glee? That’s the under-grass surface at Eagle Farm.

If you don’t have any kids imagine trying to run across a court filled with tennis balls. Same thing. Geniuses these track builders aren’t they? 

The reason the sand was wrong is that it had been switched

The tender specifications detailed that the sand was to be of the grade GTS2000 (Golf Turf Sand 2000), a high quality sand approved by the US Golf Association and used to build the greens at courses like Augusta and Pebble Beach. This in the premium sand type that Strathayr use as a prerequisite base material for all their tracks, and is one of the reasons that are so consistently outstanding.

GTS 2000 quality sand was incorporated into the contract and signed off. And then somehow without anyone in charge being made aware – presumably anyway – it was switched for the cheaper and poorer grade TS2000 sand.

Who switched it?

Monteith didn’t say.

No-one is putting their hands up to claim responsibility.

Where did the lower grade sand come from?

Monteith didn’t say.

No-one is saying.

But Archie has a suspicion: he suspects that it came from the Caboolture River, up near the mouth of the Bribie Passage near Ningi, and was dredged up during the North Harbour Marina development build on a tidal flood plain and somehow mysteriously approved by the LNP government over vocal objections from local residents and their Regional Council.

Archie suspects that Nifty Nev, and another bloke named Malcolm Hall-Brown who owned the building that housed the infamous Brett’s Boys brothel of the 1980’s that was stacked with under-age boys from Asia and frequented by a future Queensland Governor and a Premier, along with a few later to be judges, might know something about the switched sand, and strongly suggests that the perhaps the CCC might be wise to ask them.

We’ll leave it that. For now, anyway.


Peat moss was cut into the sand

Not content just with making one crooked quid by substituting crap sand for good stuff at the same price, the switchers chucked a whole lot of peat moss in with the sub-grade TS2000 sand as well. How much is not known, but two things are.

One is that peat moss is cheaper than sand, and thus further padded out the profits of the company that was paid for pure GTS 2000 sand and put it there.

The other is that the inclusion of peat moss created a 20-60 mm layer of thick organic material through which neither water nor grass roots could pass.

Picture in your mind using a colander to strain your boiled spaghetti in the sink but forgetting to take the plug out of the sink. The water ain’t going anywhere is it? Well the peat moss is the plug, and the track is the sink.

Understand now how we were getting heavy 9 track ratings after weeks of brilliant autumn sunshine?

The sand testing was dodgy

The sand should have been tested after it had been delivered to the track, to ensure that it was the right high-quality stuff that RQ had paid for.

It wasn’t.

It was tested at the quarry.

The number of test samples taken was completely under the odds.

Testing was conducted only on every thousand tonnes of sand, meaning that a total of just 36 tests were undertaken.

Monteith is polite and guarded on this issue, and it is obviously for legal reasons as it is clear by inference that he suspects that the fix was in. He says in his report, and I quote, that the 36 tests in total were

… less than testing for tracks with which I was involved. I am not aware if all samples tested satisfied specifications. It is usual for a proportion of samples to fail. This can happen if a very broad range was specified in the testing process. 

No tests on the Eagle Farm sand failed.

Monteith goes on to report that

I understand TURFGRASS CONSULTINGS John Neylan, on 18 December 2014, signed off
on the method of producing the sand by the supplier as acceptable, but subject to the
necessary testing. EG did the testing as per John Neylan’s sign off.

John Neylan is the agronomist – turf, dirt and sand scientist – nominated by Evergreen to supervise the scientific aspects of the project. More of him in a moment.

Evergreen did the sand testing themselves. At the quarry site. The tests they conducted were so far below the standard testing requirement that it wasn’t funny. There were no dud samples. No-one tested the sand that arrived at Eagle Farm to make sure it was the same sand that had been tested at the quarry.

The sand was switched.

The fix was in.

Someone made a motza.

Who supplied that f*cking sand?